Student Profile

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Nicole Viscomi

Class of 2006

LSU Law Student

Background: Degree in psychology from Temple University. Served as student government vice president of Academic Affairs and as student representative on numerous administrative committees such as Educational Program Policy and Student Health Advisory. Also served as vice president of Eta Sigma Phi.

Why Law School:
 From the time I was a child, my family said I would grow up to be an attorney because I always had an argument for everything. Of course, since everyone wanted me to attend law school, I decided to go to medical school! A 1999 automobile accident changed all that: I suffered a brain injury that to this day influences my everyday life. Suddenly I had to abandon my plans for helping people through medicine. After getting involved in Temple student government, I found I had a natural talent for helping people better themselves. It was then that I realized I needed to attend law school and develop my newfound interest in politics.

Why LSU Law: That’s the million-dollar question! I wanted to expand my horizon beyond Pennsylvania and spend time in a different environment. Boy, did I find different! I chose LSU because it had a unique characteristic—you get to learn both civil and common law at the same time and as a result you are prepared for the practice of law anywhere in the world.

About the Law Faculty: 
Professor Goring, Professor Murchison, and Professor Zuppi really made my experience at LSU a great one. Many professors are more than willing to take the time to get to know you and become good friends

LSU Law Curriculum: I pretty much stuck to the public interest courses, which were amazing for so many reasons. The professors could not have been better. I really liked smaller classes so much better as there is a lot more interaction with the professor and you really get to know the material and the professor. I think there is room for more public interest classes in the curriculum.

Special Honors/Interests:
 The key thing I want to mention is my relentless pursuit to get the first ever public interest organization started at the Law Center. Recognizing that giving back to the community needs to be an essential part of any public institution, several students and I came together to prepare the foundation for the creation of what would later become the Public Interest Law Society.  PILS creates a central source for students, staff, and faculty who want to get involved. PILS not only gives the law school community access to pro bono and community service activities, it encourages them to get involved. The summer fellowship program is another aspect of PILS that I am proud to have helped create. The chancellor gave PILS a generous budget and as a result, LSU Law awarded summer fellowships ranging from $2,400 to $4,000 for work in public interest jobs. PILS allows LSU Law students to gain the significant exposure to public interest activities; serving as the first president of PILS allowed me to make valuable connections in the community.

For Fun: Fun? Law school tends to take away the idea of fun! Really though, I’m pretty much up for anything. I do like to read a lot, particularly books about ancient Greece and Rome.

Why She is Unique: My brain injury caused some doubt as to what I’d be capable of achieving. Despite being told I may never finish school, I not only received my undergraduate degree in psychology; I also minored in ancient Mediterranean studies and got myself into law school. So, I have overcome tragedy and am now a law school graduate. I will continue my path in the legal field with the hope of shaking up things everywhere and making the world a better place.

Career Aspirations/Prepared for the Future: I plan on changing the world and making it a better place for everyone as I believe that is what I was put on this earth to do. I will definitely be working in some public interest area. I want to work in international human rights particularly in regard to Africa. My plan is to eventually get into an organization like Human Rights Watch or the United Nations so that I can work to help better conditions in Africa and even visit there. In the meantime, I’ll most likely end up working in environmental or criminal law as the organizations dealing with international human rights.

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jbgoode@law.lsu.edu